Ravena, Gilas Cadets out of PBA 2016 Draft

MANILA, Philippines - Fresh from an immaculate tour of duty in the recently concluded SEABA Stankovic Cup in Thailand, the Gilas cadets led by the top collegiate ballers of the country finally came home with a warm hero’s welcome. The cadets, under the mentorship of Coach Nash Racela, humiliated the host country and bagged the gold for the second straight time on Saturday, May 28.

Ravena, Gilas Cadets out of PBA 2016 Draft

With the new FIBA tournament format, instead of winning a spot for the Olympics and World Cup from the usual zonal championships, the teams will now play for series of home and away round robin games in order to earn tickets to the prestigious cups. The Cadets are now being expected to play vital roles to keep the Philippines on top of Asian basketball.

There are just barely three more months before the PBA open its door for the next pro-aspirants. Sadly, the cadets bannered by UAAP stalwart Kiefer Ravena will have to pass this year’s draft to continue the country’s national basketball team’s program.

This morning, out-going Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Manny V. Pangilinan confirmed in an interview conducted by Interaksyon that Ravena, along with thirteen other cadets have now officially committed to continue training and playing for the flag and country. Most of the games that the cadets will play in fall on PBA seasons. So Gilas mainstays will more likely be all unavailable and this leaves the cadets to step in and represent the Philippines.

For PBA coaches and management, this year’s draft will be a shallow one due to the absence of the top collegiate cagers. Newly crowned Rain or Shine Head Coach Yeng Guiao is not really excited about the league’s upcoming annual event. “We only have our regular pick, so this means we’ll be picking late. Ang tingin namin mga hanggang five or six lang yung marketable talaga na puwedeng kunin, so we’re not that excited about the draft,” the fiery mentor said.

Together with the 6-foot guard Ravena are FEU gunners Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, RR Pogoy, Russell Escoto, Perpetual Altas hot-shot Jio Jalalon, King Tiger Kevin Ferrer and fellow-Eagle Von Pessumal that could make this year’s draft more interesting will be seeing more action in international hard courts instead for at least a year more.

Former UAAP MVP and NBADL Texas Legend shooting guard Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is also doubtful to participate in the said draft. Parks, who’s doing well with Nick Van Exel and the rest of the legends is currently in town to try his luck in taking a spot in the Gilas Pilipinas team who will play for the Olympic qualifiers in July. According to Parks, his main focus for now is to help the national team in preparation for their upcoming battle against France, New Zealand and Canada here in Manila.

With the cadets out of the picture, Jason Perkins, Arnold Van Opstal, Alfonso Gotladera, Ed Dacuiaog, Kyle Neypes and other PBA DLeaguers will be the remaining options for the PBA teams come October this year.

--Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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